Modified Slot Machine, 2010

A slot machine is modified in order to play with and transgress the classificatory categories we are all trapped in. A symbol of gaming, gambling, chance, illusionism, combinatorial mechanisms, and the arbitrariness of luck, the slot machine represents for me the best way to play with the concept of racial membership within the rigid and convenient principles (economically and politically) of the American Census Bureau. This installation was conceived as a bricolage: a tweaking and modifying of the icons built-in the machinery of a slot machine acquired  through bidding in Ebay. Apples, pears, and numbers were removed and replaced by an alternate and equally combinatorial system composed of colored hands icons (black, brown, white, yellow, and the symbol 0 that represents the Other) stamped on the slot machine's , arranged to index official racial categories used by the Census (Blacks, Latinos, Whites, Asians, Others). As in a Las Vegas spectacle and gaming room, the player/spectator is allowed to interact with the new modified slot machine, and participate in a political critique of the official racial taxonomy sanctioned by the US Census Bureau. Let the games begin!